Voice Dream Scanner

Last modified
Thursday, April 4, 2019
Category

Description of App

Scan paper documents with the camera and recognize text. Listen using built-in text-to-speech. Save and export. Unlimited use: no subscriptions or additional
charges.

State-of-the-art A.I. for OCR and text recognition: Fast and accurate, even in poor lighting conditions. Works entirely on device: No need for internet
and your data stays private.

Export scans as plain text or PDF with embedded text to another app, or save them on your local device, iCloud, Dropbox, or Google Drive.

Works with Voice Dream Reader, our full-featured text-to-speech reader. After downloading this app, you will be able access the scanner directly from Reader
and add scanned documents to your Reader library.

Additional Features:

- Automatic detection of document edges for stretching and cropping

- Automatic detection of document orientation and auto rotate

- Automatic language detection

- Automatic image enhancement

- Batch mode for scanning multiple pages quickly

- Spoken words are highlighted in the text or the image

- Select text-to-speech voice and change speed

- Uses premium voices purchased in Voice Dream Reader

Limitations:

- Only languages using Latin alphabets are supported. It works all language supported by Voice Dream Reader except: Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, Greek,
Hebrew, Japanese, Korean and Russian.

Version

1.0

Free or Paid

Paid

Apple Watch Support

No

Device(s) App Was Tested On

iPhone
iPad
iPod Touch

Accessibility Comments

Fully accessible with VoiceOver

iOS Version

12.2

VoiceOver Performance

VoiceOver reads all page elements.

Button Labeling

All buttons are clearly labeled.

Usability

The app is fully accessible with VoiceOver and is easy to navigate and use.

Other Comments

This is simply the best OCR app to date! It retains the format of the page, saves as a PDF accessible document, retains photos from the document for sighted users, and with the Voice Dream Reader update will allow users to scan directly into Voice Dream Reader. It uses the Voice Dream Reader voices you already have installed. Is fast, accurate, and does it all on the device, no server/internet access needed.

Developer's Twitter Username

@VoiceDreamApp

Recommendations

9 people have recommended this app

Most recently recommended by Sarah Van Oosterwijck 1 year 2 months ago

Options

Comments

Submitted by Ka Yat Li on Sunday, March 31, 2019

I believe this is one of the best OCR apps to date. It is very accurate as many others have said. In fact, it has picked up legible text on surfaces that I never expected it could. I would say compared to other similar apps, this is so far the most accurate and fast.

Submitted by alex wallis on Sunday, March 31, 2019

Hi, I downloaded this app during the beta process, unfortunately I didn't have any new printed documents to really assess its accuracy compared to other apps while I was testing. But one comment I would make is that the actual taking a photo side of things appeared to use a fairly standard camera interface, there didn't as far as I can tell seem to be a way to get the app to inform me about document orientation like other apps such as prismo go have and the rather useless knfb reader, they all have field of view reports or scene descriptions call them what you will where they tell you how much of the document is visible and how your phone is orientated compared to them, and you could get this information before actually taking a photo for use, I didn't come across such a field of view feature in voice dream scanner. also, I know everyone says such and such an app is accurate, but I would be willing to bet that most of these apps use proprietary ocr technology authors are hardly going to go off and create there own engines and I suspect most of them probably use the same technology as each other. anyway just my thoughts.

Submitted by gregg on Sunday, March 31, 2019

Autocapture is beta according to the app button. If you choose to save the scanned text, the share option works well. What sets this scanner apart is that you can use it from dream reader to import scanned images and save them already to read. As of now, I could not find a way to import to dream writer to edit the converted text. All things considered, the app is worth the price.

Submitted by alex wallis on Sunday, March 31, 2019

fair enough, I don't use dream reader or writer personally because I find doing stuff on computer more efficient but that's just my personal preference of course. But if I am write and this app does use the same technology as other apps for its brains so to speak there isn't a lot of point getting it as you probably won't get any more accurate results than with other apps that use this technology, though of course I have no idea what ocr engine this app uses but its probably something like fine reader or similar I imagine. but of course I can see the benefit for those who use dream reader.

Submitted by zdenek on Sunday, March 31, 2019

I tried knfb reader once about one year ago. After half an hour when I could not orriented the page properlly I just gave up. Tonight I downloaded voice dream scanner and in poor light conditions I tried to recognize cover of the book. I was not informed how to use the camera, simply I sort of put it over the cover of the book, took a picture and everything had worked. Therefore, for me if the accuracy is pretty much the same as knfb reader, I would opt out for voice dream scanner, it is simply easier to use. Of course more tests have to be done, however, with knfb reader I could not scan a page in half an hour, with voice dream scanner I have done it in about 20 seconds.

Submitted by Amanda Hall on Sunday, March 31, 2019

I have the voice dream scanner app, and love it! I've been using it since the beta, and I found it helps to have autocapture turned on. It beeps at you while you're getting the text in view. Once it does a long beep without stopping, you hold the phone as still as possible, because that means the text is in focus. then it'll take the picture and then the text will be there to read. I love the app, and find it better than KNFB reader!

Submitted by alex wallis on Sunday, March 31, 2019

HI, to be honest I never really use the options to line up documents properly and that included knfb reader back before it went down hill, I found generally with most apps as long as you get lining up roughly right it doesn't matter and you can get a rough idea what your dealing with. lets be honest your hardly likely to use phone ocr to send professional or legal documents, if perfection is that important your going to use a pc based scanner.

In fact, I would not hesitate to send professional documents using this app. I scanned an article by ellen Ringlein entitled "101 Ways To Use Braille" and it has a picture of her reading braille at a podium, and the PDF of the document was not only perfect, but it included the picture.

Submitted by Rafal on Tuesday, April 2, 2019

I find the app really nice despite some reservations:
1. it drains battery
2. there is no doubletap gesture with two fingers to start, stop or resume reading.
3. I recomend a shake gesture to switch light on and off, as it is the case with seeing assistant home.
4. results are very good.
Despite this, the app is worth buying and I believe that it will be corrected. Have you noticed that KNFB Reader has worsen scanning quality?

Submitted by Justin on Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Hi,
It doesn't help that KNFB hasn't received an update in who knows how long. All these camera apps will put a drain on your battery. Also, if you have the Dream reader app that goes with this, you can scan docs and do OCR right in the reader app also.

Submitted by turner42 on Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Well, VoiceOver's focus lands on the pause button once it starts reading, so a one finger double tap will pause it. There is a Flash ON/off button right on the screen. If you know you have good lighting, turn off the flash. If you want the developer to implement things like the two finger double tap or the shake gesture, please do write him at support@voicedream.com and I think he will consider those.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Tuesday, April 2, 2019

For basic reading, I still like Microsoft's Seeing AI. However, for saving documents that you scan in, this one sounds pretty good. Also, this developer is totally worth supporting as every product they have put out has been of a very high quality. Also, for those looking for specific features, keep in mind that this is just the beginning for this app. I expect we'll see more and more improvements as time goes by.

Submitted by Frank on Wednesday, April 3, 2019

In reply to by gregg

You can actually save to Voice Dream Writer.
Scan your document, tap keep.
Save as text
Name your document and hit enter.
Share sheet will come up
Select Writer.

hth

Frank.

Submitted by Tom on Thursday, April 4, 2019

Yesterday I emailed the the developer with a suggestion. He got back to me in a half hour. KNFB didn't succeed to get back to me in 3 months now. This helped me to make the decision.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Thursday, April 4, 2019

I bought KNFB Reader when it first came out. I was hopeful it would be better than it was. I wish I could take that money back. I think I have used it a total of five times in over three years.

Submitted by Brooke on Thursday, April 4, 2019

I got it when it was on sale, but it was still a waste of money. I purchased Voice Dream Scanner because I have a lot of respect for the developer. The app has surpassed KNFB by a longshot.

Submitted by Rafal on Friday, April 5, 2019

Dear Applevis community, I suggest submitting an official protest or any other action to force developers of KNFB reader to implement necessary improvements. We've appreciated the app and we spent lots of money. I think many of us would use it more often if it were more accurate. Greetings!

Submitted by alex wallis on Friday, April 5, 2019

I think knfb has pretty much been abandoned by its developers. I have several pet hates with it, first the way there is no option to hide the reading controls even if we prefer to use VoiceOver to read scanned text.
second, the last update was over all a big step backward, in particular I really don't understand what the point of them keeping the result on screen when no text is recognized is rather than just automatically returning back to the taking a picture screen like the older versions used to do.
second, when reading with VoiceOver since there last update if I want to flick through scanned text with VoiceOver it will only read me one word at a time, and I don't mean I have turned the rotor to read by word, this is literally when doing ordinary left to right flicks in portrait mode which should really read one line at a time. I reported that particular issue at least 3 or 4 times during the last beata cycle but was ignored, I never had my messages even answered.
the problem is although its nice in theory to make one off purchases for apps how is a developer then supposed to develop an app long term especially when selling to a minority like knfb does. now if they had gone for a subscription model but with a lower price that might have been more sustainable than high one off costs to buy the app.

Submitted by Missy Hoppe on Saturday, April 6, 2019

As I suspect is true of others here, I purchased KNFB Reader as soon as it became available. The price tag was ridiculous, but at the time, I hadn't had any real luck using other alternatives. Now, there are so many vastly superior options out there: Seeing AI, Envision, and now this new one. I know it would never, ever happen, but I almost wish that we could somehow get a refund on the price of KNFB reader. Otherwise, they really, really need to step up their game not just to stay competitive, but just to even stay relevant. Naturally, because I paid so much for it, I will always keep KNFB reader in my vision assistance toolbox, but I can't remember the last time I even bothered to open it to read anything. Looking forward to testing out this new app; purchased it but haven't had an opportunity to try it yet. I love Seeing AI and Envision best because they just read automatically without having to take pictures. At the very, very least, that is a feature that KNFB reader should develop.

Submitted by Jen on Monday, April 8, 2019

I bought this app because VoiceDream makes great products. The first thing I tried to scan was a box for cooking directions. It took two tries. I am so impressed, and I highly recommend this one.

Submitted by Melissa on Monday, April 8, 2019

In reply to by Jen

Well, I did break down and bought the app, and I must say, I really really love this app. I too highly recommend it. I find it to be much more accurate when reading text. Makes me want to try Voice Dream Reader!

Submitted by gailisaiah on Tuesday, April 9, 2019

I'm considering this one. Because I can't seem to get Seeing AI to work. It only reads parts of things. I will admit, it's probably operator error and not the app. But maybe I will do better with this scanner. Thanks all of you!

Submitted by Ann Marie B on Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Hi. I am considering buying the app. I was wondering if the app reads handwriting. Ex. a signed document that one scans in and once scanned the document can be emailed. with said person's signature. Based on the reviews it sounds like a great app.

Submitted by Rafal on Wednesday, April 10, 2019

As far as I know, the app does not support handwriting but if you have a scanned image you can upload it with voice dream reader and process so as to make it leggible. A new update has been released bringing more improvements. So I encourage those who hesitate to buy it and if you don't like the app you have two weeks to return it to the app store.

If you have a signed document that has already been scanned and saved to your Photos etc. you can just attach this to an email. If you have a scanned document on your Mac or iOS device you can use Mark Up in one of many Apple applications to sign the document and then send it by email.
Voice Dream Scanner does not recognise handwriting but will convert the scanned text on your documents to editable text.

Submitted by bobcat on Wednesday, April 10, 2019

In reply to by gailisaiah

When Microsoft Seeing AI is opened it defaults to 'Short Text'. When in this mode it automatically reads out any text it encounters. Every time the camera is moved new text is readout. This is useful for quick recognition of text. For more control you should select the 'Document' mode, or Channel. When in Document mode Seeing AI tells you which edges are not visible and when all edges are visible it says 'Hold Steady' and automatically takes a photo of the document and converts the text to editable, readable text which is then read out with or without VoiceOver turned on. This text can then be saved to any other document, including Voice Dream Reader, by selecting Share.
To select the various Channels tap with four fingers near the bottom of the screen and the current Channel should be read out. If it is 'Short Text' swipe up with one finger and you should hear 'Document'.
If You want to rearrange the order of the Channels you can do this in Settings.

Submitted by gailisaiah on Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Thanks so much, Bobcat, for this advice when using Seeing AI. I'll give it a try.

Submitted by Matt on Monday, April 22, 2019

I’ve been using this app for about a week now with very good results. Just this evening I scanned some medical documents in complete darkness with the paper having been folded several times. Thee results were still very good, far better than other apps I have used.

Submitted by Sarah Van Oost… on Saturday, April 27, 2019

When I tried the beta I didn't much like the user interface and I thought I didn't really need another OCR app. I think I've tried them all. I thought I might buy it just to support a fantastic developer. Now I highly recommend VoiceDream Scanner to everyone. The user interface is simple to use. It gives auditory feedback about focus, which I admit I'm no good at using, and never have been, no matter which OCR app I use. The reason I recommend it is because it gives amazing results! I've gotten useful text off of things like my state ID, credit cards, clothing tags, food packages, and yes, even some ordinary documents. LOL It is really fast, too. Seeing AI gives great results on short text but isn't so good with the document setting, and there are things you don't want to share with anyone's server. VoiceDream Scanner is completely private because OCR is done on the device. I will also be recommending it to any sighted iOS users who want to capture documents in PDF format. It's a great product for a very low price. I know the developer doesn't abandon apps. Instead they all keep getting better and better.

Submitted by Melissa Roe on Monday, April 29, 2019

Hello everyone!

I’m not sure if the app developer reads these threads, but I wanted to bring up this suggestion anyway to see what you all thought about it. I love Voice Dream. I have the writer, reader, and scanner. All the products have been wonderful and have made my life as a college student so much easier. One thing I would love to see added to the voice dream scanner is a file import mode that will allow me to import pdf files from files, dropbox or other services. I realize this is a new app, and might possibly support this feature in the future, so I am saying go for it. If it is on the list, please add it as soon as possible. I have professors who upload pdf files to blackboard that are in image form. You can’t import it into seeing AI, and there is another app called envision AI. An app user recommended it and said you could import pdf files in that app, but I haven’t found the functionality when I was testing it during my trial period. I would have paid for a temporary subscription for the rest of the semester, but since I can’t import pdf files, I currently wait anxiously for apps to support this feature. It doesn’t always make sense to only allow imports from photo libraries like envision does.

All in all, a wonderful app! I highly recommend it for those interested in buying. I even had to scan a story the professor gave me, in which he must have been have asleep when he produced the copies to pass around. He scanned it in landscape mode, put the stapler on the right, and the story was split into columns. It was a nightmare, but at least voice dream scanner was about 80 percent accurate. I love it!

Submitted by Frank on Monday, April 29, 2019

You can already import pdf files into voice dream reader.
To OCR open voice dream reader and tap on add.
Dropbox and then the file you want to bring in.
When the file is downloaded open it in voice dream reader and tap on document.

Flick to perform OCR and double tap.
This will scan your PDF and then it will be ready for you to tap on play.

I think the process could be better documented, and a direct import to scanner could be of help certainly.
I hope this is of help..

Frank.

Hi Melissa,

The request you made, to import PDF from Files, etc., is already available in Voice Dream Reader and now with the addition of the Voice Dream Scanner one can import image based PDFs and scan the text to make a readable PDF.

Just select the PDF in Files and from the Share menu 'Open in Voice Dream Reader'. If the PDF is image based text open the imported file in Reader and from the Documents menu choose 'Perform OCR' at the bottom of the menu options.

The above will create a readable PDF in Reader and the text can be read in the the 'Original Layout' or the 'Plain text' view. Unfortunately, in the Original View the text cannot be selected with VoiceOver in 'context'. To be able to do this you can go to Documents menu agin and Export Original File and in the Share menu select Open in Books where the PDF text can be selected in the image view with VoiceOver.

Submitted by Scott Field on Friday, May 3, 2019

Hi
I bought the app a couple of days ago. I find that reading documents with multiple pages such as magazines or newspapers doesn't work as it doesn't distinguish between columns making the resulting text illegible. am I doing something wrong or is this not within the app's capabilities?
thank you

Submitted by Rob on Friday, June 28, 2019

I do not hear a tone to indicate when I have the iPhone camera positioned for a good scan.

As a test, I tried KNFB reader on the same document. The field of view report was given by vibations rather than a tone. Since I haven't used KNFB reader for a long time, I don't remember if the field of view report should be vibrations or a tone.

Yes, I have confirmed that the phone is not muted.

I appreciate any suggestions.

Rob

Submitted by turner42 on Friday, June 28, 2019

In reply to Rob:
To use the tones in Voice Dream Scanner, you need to make sure that edge detection is off, and that tones are enabled in its settings.
If you also turn on auto capture, once the tone is at its loudest, it will snap the photo in 2 or 3 seconds.
If you have it set to read automatically, it will read in just a couple seconds as well.
Otherwise, double tap the play button.

Submitted by alex wallis on Friday, June 28, 2019

Hi, OK I am just slightly confused why does edge detection need to be off for tones to work? surely edge detection helps with taking an accurate photo? having said that I never got auto capture to work.

Submitted by Rob on Friday, June 28, 2019

In reply to by turner42

The setting for the tone is on. I turned off edge detection, but the tone still did not sound.

Rob

Since I am not the developer, I won't speak for him, but Edge detection I gather is for later cropping the image and no longer helps if you are visually impaired/blind. But, you could ask Winston Chen directly at winston@voicedream.com
For those not getting a tone, try with headphones and make sure you are not too close to the document, or too far, start with the phone camera on the center of the page and slowly raise it up.